The Creeping Demons of Ambition

After Running the Race of My Life, I Became Consumed by Doubts and Disillusionment

Three years ago, on a rain-soaked track in rural Pennsylvania, I ran the fastest 1,500-meter race by an American college student in history. My time was 3:35.59. Add an extra 109 meters to that pace, and it’s a 3:52 mile. I didn’t realize just how quick it was until someone put it in that perspective for me.

I hadn’t expected to run anywhere near that. My best 1,500 time going into the race was 3:42—still a very respectable time by collegiate standards, but far from record- breaking. As one of …

Nairobi Knows How to Manufacture a Pop Star

East Africa’s Version of ‘American Idol’ Is Pioneering a Less Cutthroat, More Human Competition

Six blue-masked doctors in white coats stood before us, each monitoring an infrared detector, checking for signs of fever in travelers. It was late February, and I had just arrived …